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Every horror movie of 2020, definitively ranked

Horror movies aren’t just for Halloween anymore. They’re year-round extravaganzas of bloody gore, crazy villains and high-concept stuff that’ll freak you out and make you think about the world around you.

There’s also some absolute dreck, but, hey, you take the good with the bad.

We’ve seen some top-notch stuff come out early in the year, but there is reason January and February are known as Hollywood’s annual wasteland of badness. Case in point: Directed by Jeff Wadlow (“Truth or Dare”) and produced by horror guru Jason Blum, “Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island” puts a scary-movie spin on the classic TV show with guests to a tropical paradise granted wishes that turn into total nightmares. 

This year, we’re taking on the task of definitively ranking every new horror movie, and here’s how the new “Fantasy Island” and a couple of Valentine’s Day-ready films, “After Midnight” and Shudder streaming original “Dogs Don’t Wear Pants,” stack up with what’s come out thus far:

Horror preview:Your ultimate 2020 scary-movie guide, from ‘Halloween Kills’ to the ‘Quiet Place’ sequel

‘Fantasy Island’:How the old TV show was retooled as a modern horror movie

Mackenzie Davis plays a governess hired to take care of a young girl and finding weirdness all around her in

12. ‘The Turning’

The horrid adaptation of Henry James’ “The Turn of the Screw” stars Mackenzie Davis as new governess Kate, who’s been hired to take care of a young girl (Brooklynn Prince) whose parents have died. The estate is huge but weird, the girl’s teenage brother (Finn Wolfhard) is a violent malcontent, and Kate feels like she’s going nuts seeing ghostly figures and hearing things that go bump in the night. Way more frustrating than freaky, the film also has one of the worst endings in recent memory.

The enigmatic Mr. Roarke (Michael Peña, center) welcomes guests (Austin Stowell and Lucy Hale) to a gorgeous locale where secret dreams become nightmares in

11. ‘Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island’

Give the Blumhouse credit for casting Michael Peña in Ricardo Montalban’s old Mr. Roarke role and wanting to make the old TV concept fresh again. Yet so much else fails in this convoluted retread that features a variety of visitors (including Lucy Hale, Maggie Q and Ryan Hansen) being put through their own individual hells. There’s one forced huge plot twist after another – so much that it turns into a checklist of horror tropes by the end. 

Poor Faith (Lin Shaye, left) comes face to face with a vengeful spirit (Tara Westwood) in the newest redo of the Japanese horror movie

10. ‘The Grudge’

In the latest (and forgettable) redo of the Japanese horror movie, a couple of cops (Andrea Riseborough and Demian Bichir), a realtor couple (John Cho and Betty Gilpin) and others come to face-to-face with a vengeful phantom that attaches itself to houses and people and haunts them until their unavoidable doom. The film offers nonlinear intertwining story lines, ghosts coming out of bathtubs, and little else.

Freya Tingley plays a gifted violinist who inherits her late composer father's Gothic castle and unpublished masterwork in

9. ‘The Sonata’

Freya Tingley plays a gifted violinist whose composer father (the late Rutger Hauer), once thought of as a industry-changing genius before dropping off the classical-music map, dies extremely violently. She inherits a Gothic castle and an unpublished masterwork – filled with weird symbols courtesy of dad’s dark interests – in a movie with cool classical music but no real scares.

Jeremy Gardner (with Brea Grant) writes, directs and stars in

8. ‘After Midnight’

The down-home indie horror romance features Jeremy Gardner (who also writes and directs) as a small-town bar owner forced to deal with a vicious monster of unknown origin that attacks his front door nearly every night. The creature’s appearance coincides with the month-long disappearance of the dude’s girlfriend (Brea Grant). “Midnight” upends expectations while also deftly exploring relationship themes and the push-pull between expanding horizons and remaining comfortably complacent.

Kristen Stewart takes on mysterious creatures seven miles below the ocean surface in the sci-fi thriller

7. ‘Underwater’

The “Alien” influence isn’t at all subtle in the action-packed thriller starring Kristen Stewart as a mechanical engineer on a doomed drilling team (featuring T.J. Miller and Jessica Henwick) seven miles below the ocean surface. There are lots of claustrophobic escapes, crushing deep-sea dangers and neato monsters, plus Stewart – with cropped hair and a bunch of derring-do – does a decent job rocking a modern Ripley vibe.

Elijah Wood stars as a man who visits his long-estranged father and is thrown into crazy circumstances in

6. ‘Come to Daddy’

There’s a little noir and quite a bit of comedy in this kooky outing that begins with quotes from two luminaries: Shakespeare and Beyoncé. Wood plays a privileged dude who travels to see the estranged father who left him behind when he was a child. Dad’s a complete jerk with some serious baggage, their reunion is a disaster, and the movie turns on a crazy reveal forcing our man-child hero to survive a series of bloody predicaments.

Krista Kosonen plays a dominatrix who forms an emotional connection with a widowed heart surgeon in the Finnish film

5. ‘Dogs Don’t Wear Pants’

The Finnish thriller, which played at last year’s Cannes and Toronto film festivals, is surprisingly as endearing as it is disturbing. Years after his wife’s drowning, a heart surgeon (Pekka Strang) is a cold fish with sexual hangups when he meets and forms a strong connection with a BDSM dominatrix (Krista Kosonen) whose strangulation methods prove addictive, freeing and oddly cathartic for him. It’s darkly comic and touching, plus features a weirdly fitting cover of the Beach Boys’ “Then I Kissed Her.”

Gabrielle Elyse (left) and Mary Nepi star as estranged childhood friends who reunite when one of them loses her virginity and becomes pregnant with an alien baby in

4. ‘Snatchers’

“Booksmart” meets “Shaun of the Dead” with a dash of “Gremlins” in the teen horror comedy centered on popular high schooler Sara (Mary Nepi), who loses her virginity, becomes pregnant with an alien baby, and gives “birth” to a creature that tears up their town. Come for the gruesome shenanigans of a monstrous critter that attaches itself to people’s heads, stay for Sara and her estranged childhood pal Hayley (Gabrielle Elyse) reuniting to become creature-hunting BBFs.

A New England alpaca farmer (Nicolas Cage) has  a meteorite land in his yard in

3. ‘Color Out of Space’

In this trippy, slow-burn gore-fest based on an H.P. Lovecraft short story, a New England alpaca farmer (Nicolas Cage), his workaholic wife (Joely Richardson) and his kids have ordinary, everyday problems that get exponentially weirder when a meteorite lands in their yard and they’re taken over by an alien presence. The invasion creates a sumptuous color palette for some stunning visuals, and Cage going absolutely bonkers never gets old.

2. ‘Gretel & Hansel’ 

In this fairy-tale reimagining, Gretel (Sophia Lillis) and little brother Hansel (Samuel Leakey) leave home – and their insane mother – behind and set off into the forest. Hungry, they find a super-weird house and are enticed by an elaborate feast inside, where they meet the witch (Alice Krige) who runs the place. Suffice it to say, she’s not on the up-and-up. The film features wonderfully unnerving sights, a nuanced narrative and an intriguing empowerment story that also explores the consequences of having power.

Grace (Riley Keough) is stuck in a snowed-in house with her fiance's children when things go awry in

1. ‘The Lodge’

Like your horror super-duper bleak? “The Lodge” is full of despair as Grace (Keough), who’s still haunted by her childhood being the only survivor of a religious death cult, gets trapped with her fiancé’s kids (Jaeden Martell and Lia McHugh) in a remote house. She tries to be their friend, they can’t stand her, and just as they start breaking down the icy walls between them, Grace starts hearing voices and having bad dreams. But that’s just the start of the twisty terrors that grip the place in this beautifully shot, slow-burn chiller.

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